The season opener for the 2022 edition of the Edmonton Elks was nothing short of a disaster losing 59-15 to the B.C. Lions last Saturday. The good thing about football is the ability to have a short memory and turn the page. The Elks will look to do just that Saturday night when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
The 59 points allowed is a franchise record for the Elks and the most points surrendered by a CFL team in week one of a season. The Elks trailed 42-6 at half-time and gave the ball away four times which led to 21 points scored by the Lions.
Edmonton Elks head coach Chris Jones on the process of bouncing back from last week’s 59-15 loss to the Lions
The Elks enjoyed a better second half scoring a touchdown and a field goal in their first two possessions. Quarterback Nick Arbuckle went five of nine for 69 yards and an interception in the first half. In the second half, Arbuckle went 14 of 20 for 185 yards and two interceptions. Running back James Wilder Junior was the team’s best offensive player gaining 87 yards on 12 touches.
Edmonton Elks quarterback Nick Arbuckle on trying to break an 8-game home losing streak
The Elks will look to break an eight-game losing streak at home after going winless (0-7) last season. The losing streak dates back to the 2019 CFL season.
Edmonton Elks running back James Wilder Jr. speaks about his desire to win a game at home for the fans
Receiver Derel Walker is out (hand/finger) for Saturday;s game and has been placed on the 1-game injured list, Caleb Holley will start in Walker’s place.
Defensive tackle Jake Ceresna was placed on the six-game injured with a suspected shoulder injury, Canadian defensive lineman Ese Mrabure will start in Ceresna’s place.
Offensive lineman Mark Korte, linebacker Deon Lacey, and receiver Jalin Marshall have been added to the one-game injured list. Offensive lineman Tony Washington will play his first game in green and gold since 2016 starting at his usual left tackle spot. DB Nafees Lyon will play at the wide-corner spot after missing last week’s game with an illness.
Edmonton Elks offensive lineman Tony Washington speaks about playing his first game in green and gold since 2016
Sergio Castillo will handle field goals while American Matt Mengel will perform the punting duties. He was recently in the camp of the Montreal Alouettes and played in both pre-season games. At UCLA, averaged 40.1-yards on punts, forcing opponents to start their offensive drives inside their 20-yard line 35 times on 113 punts.
In all, there are 11 changes to the roster from last week’s loss to the B.C. Lions.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Nick Arbuckle
Running back: James Wilder Jr. (fullback: Ante Milanovich-Litre)
Offensive line: Tony Washington, David Foucault, David Beard, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, Colin Kelly
Receivers: Caleb Holley, Kenny Lawler, Emmaneul Arceneaux, Shai Ross, Mike Jones
Defensive line: Claudell Louis, Makana Henry, Ese Mrabure, Thomas Costigan
Linebackers: Brady Sheldon, Adam Konar, Matthew Elam
Defensive backs: Jalen Collins, Ed Gainey, Tobi Antigha, Thomas Decoud, Nafees Lyon
You can hear live coverage of Saturday’s home-opener between the Elks and Riders on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 6 p.m. The opening kickoff on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will be at 7:30 p.m. with Morley Scott and special guest colour analyst Ryan King as Dave Campbell is in COVID protocol.
You’ll hear analysis from Dave via his home connection and two-time Grey Cup Champion and former Edmonton offensive lineman Blake Dermott. David Boles will be reporting from the Elks sidelines.